Happy Friday! I hope none of you will be too badly impacted by the looming government shutdown, but here are some soccer things to take your mind off of it either way.

Let’s start things off light with this story about a dog on the field of a Liga de Expansión game between Oaxaca and Sinaloa.

Inter Miami sent out ticket information for the 2024 season yesterday, and the prices are pretty incredible. Season tickets range from $884 to $45,900. Not sure Messi’s worth it, to be honest.

Since we got some WSL kit news yesterday (those soggy Aston Villa kits… gross!), let’s take a look at Arsenal’s first women’s exclusive kit today. I think they’re cute! Better than the neon yellow men’s kit in my opinion.

Local supporters’ group, the Rose Room Collective, also unveiled a pink jersey yesterday.

Did you know the UK government releases annual statistics on football-related arrests? West Ham supporters had the most arrests last season, while Manchester United fans had the most banning orders.

Here’s yet another take on what the USWNT’s World Cup performance means for the NWSL. This one isn’t ready to write off the league and have all the players leave for Europe, so I like it more.

The XFL has announced intentions to merge with the USFL. No details yet, but this could impact whether the Washington Defenders continue to play at Buzzard Point. Unlike the XFL, the USFL operates on a hub model, playing all games at just a few sites rather than each team having its own home.

Finally, here’s the schedule of local teams for the weekend.

Washington Spirit vs. Kansas City CurrentSat., Sep. 30 at 7 p.m. ETAudi FieldParamount+
Loudoun United FC vs. Tampa Bay RowdiesSat., Sep. 30 at 7:30 p.m. ETAl Leng StadiumESPN+
D.C. United vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FCSat., Sep. 30 at 10:30 p.m. ETBC PlaceApple TV

ByAnnie Elliott

Mostly writing about the Washington Spirit

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The short-termism with things like ticket pricing in the MLS is very strange. Sometimes you wonder if a lot of the clubs actually want to build a core fanbase.

Will Nelson

You don’t say…sounds like the ownership of DCU….


How does it compare with other leagues? I remember back when we were playing at RFK and I wasn’t a season ticket holder, I would often have to pay between $35-$50 per ticket (without counting processing fees) and this was years ago. The tickets would be cheaper if you bought them from the Barra Brava but that was a different experience. As a season ticket holder, I know pay around $46 per ticket and while my seats are not right in the middle, I still have a decent view so in my experience I am not paying a whole lot more now than I was 10 years ago. I know that the Nationals often have tickets that go for around $20 but I’m guessing having so many games allows them to do that. How expensive are ticket prices for an NBA or NFL game? I haven’t been to a NBA since Jordan retired the second time around.

By the way, a few years ago when Messi was still playing in Barca, I bought tickets for a game at Camp Nou, I paid around 135 Euros for those tickets and he didn’t play because he was injured. So while some of the ticket prices seem extravagant, those with season tickets around $2K are not getting that bad of a deal. It is also a good bet that if they are able to stay healthy, Miami are likely to be the MLS champs of the 2024 season.


My point is more around building up support for a club which will last the test of time rather than value for money as an entertainment product this season. Messi will be there for a few years at most and when he is gone all of the people going along just to watch him will likely disappear too. For a club like Inter Miami, which is a few years old, why would you do something that might damage your relationship with the people who were actually interested in going along before the star name turned up?

Don’t get me started on what is in my opinion the disgraceful pricing at major European clubs like Barcelona. I appreciate the supply and demand argument – and it’ll realistically always win out nowadays – but these clubs have historically been bastions of their local communities. Mes Que un Club apparently. If you take it as an entertainment product only and remove the parts of soccer that make it what it is beyond what happens on the pitch then it’s easy to talk about “good deals” and “value for money” but I just personally struggle with that view of the game. I think that when there is no sense of community and belonging and nothing more to the game beyond watching 22 strangers run about after a ball, the game is a bit of a pale imitation of what it can be.

Apologies for the lack of eloquence there!


I completely get what you are saying but if we are to be honest here, the people who are now “Inter Miami” fans, after the Messi signing, will NOT be Inter Miami fans after he leaves. They may be able to retain maybe 5-10% of those who joined only because of Messi but that’s about it and that’s a generous estimate. I am not sure the pricing has anything to do with it so Miami is taking advantage when they can to help recover what they have spent to make the Messi reality happened. Will it backfire on them? Likely but they took the gamble and now they have to play the game.

And what clubs around the world do around pricing only reflects the reality of the world we are living in. Every corporation takes advantage of its customers, gone are the days when corporations catered to their customers (see airlines, movie theaters, etc.), the current practice is corporations setting the tone of how the relationship works with little input from the paying customers. Just look at the power corporations have over governments, especially in the US. One day the system will collapse certainly but as of right now, immediate profit, regardless of how it is achieved, is King and dictates much of how the world moves. Not to be depressing or anything.

Will Nelson

I made a comment to that extent to my wife about bandwagon fans when we were at Costco a couple of weeks ago. Adults and kids everywhere wearing Inter Miami gear with Messi on it. They are only now paying attention to MLS because of Messi, many of them won’t continue on after he leaves.


That’s a very good article on NWSL in ESPN that you linked Annie–thank you! My reactions to it: it’s about 95% in agreement with my thoughts. Yeah, Andonovski is terrible at in-game adjustments, didn’t prepare the team well, made terrible roster decisions. But the USWNT has been passed by. Spain and England are clearly better (even if you discount the WWC). Netherlands, Sweden, maybe France, maybe Germany are arguable on-par with or close enough to beat the US in a WC or Olympics and it wouldn’t be a shock to knowledgable followers of the game.

I think the season switch deal is nonsense. NWSL can flourish playing in the summer. If I had to summarize what has to happen (IMHO) for the US women to regain a dominant role it would be (beside the coaching hire): 1. Longer NWSL season with more games. That would actually mean fewer games for the USWNT–and I’m fine with that. The Spanish didn’t become good their NT played 40 games in a year, it was the club environment. 2. Better support for players at the team level. Better physio staff, more analytics, more scouting, better training. 3. A better class of coach at the NWSL. At a minimum that means background checks. NWSL isn’t going to outcompete college for coaches for maybe a decade (because college soccer is a safe job if you win and don’t create fights with the men’s football program). It also means pressuring people to get USSF licenses (the course MLS has done with the Dutch for their coaches–Ben Olsen was in that program, so was Oscar Pareja). Raise the fricking bar! 4. Influx of serious foreign talent. Yeah, players from Canada and New Zealand are in the league. Some lower level Japanese or other Europeans. We’ve got one Spaniard (Esther Gonzales) and she’s a recent signing. NWSL should be targeting talent like Putellas or Bonmati or the top Swedes. 5. Yes, the NWSL needs to promote more young talent–and there is a lot of it out there. But there’s a catch–not all NWSL teams are set up to support and grow a teenager (especially a 15 year old). So this is more complex than just “set up a reserve team” or “allow home-grown talent.”

Do I think some of the American women could benefit from playing overseas? Yes. Do I think that’s the answer? Absolutely not. If the competitive level of NWSL goes up a couple of notches, the USWNT will kick butt again. But that raising the competitive level won’t be quick, or easy, or cheap.

Will Nelson

While DCU can’t be officially eliminated this weekend per the league’s own research: https://www.mlssoccer.com/news/matchday-35-who-can-clinch-playoffs-or-be-eliminated

If we don’t win I think the seasons over. We have to win out to have a realistic shot at making the playoffs.


9 points in 3 matches, 2 of them on the road. Yikes.

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